The radical politicization of American Protestantism
The Presbyterian Church in America and the Southern Baptist Convention are two of the traditionally more conservative denominations that have been targeted by political and cultural machinations. Southern Baptist Theological Seminary professor Dr. Jarvis Williams has identified the "cultural colonization" of "black and brown members" of the church as one of the biggest threats to American Evangelicalism and the realization of "holistic racial reconciliation." Alexander Jun, "who promotes progressive theories on race and white privilege," was recently elected moderator of the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA).
While PCA pastor Kevin Smith was featured in the latest edition of the denomination's official online magazine making the outrageous claim that "you have to do great damage to your own self and your own identity many times to join a PCA church because who you are as the image of God is not welcome ... in order to become part of a PCA church you really have to become white" (around the 6:50 mark of the linked video).
The theoretical framework that fuels this type of thinking is commonly referred to as Critical Race Theory. According to the Encyclopedia Britannica:
Critical Race Theory (CRT) was inspired by the American civil rights tradition...and from nationalist thinkers such as Malcolm X, the Black Panthers, and Frantz Fanon. ... [S]teeped in radical black thought and nationalist thinking, CRT advanced theoretical understandings of law, politics, and American sociology ... on the efforts of white people to maintain their historical advantages over people of colour. CRT has spread ... to many other fields, notably women's and gender studies, education, American studies, and sociology. CRT spin-off movements formed by Asian Americans and by Latinos have also taken hold.
When faith relations among the members of the body take a back seat to a radically defined agenda regarding race relations, the church has lost her way. The institutional prioritizing of one sinful disposition over another deters biblical resolution and restoration of an individual offense that can be multidirectional.
Racism exists as part of the depraved human condition. But this is not merely a white man's problem. Bias and prejudice exist among different classes, cultures, races, and creeds, throughout all the ages. The elites who apply their capital to stir the pot view most of society as serfs who need to be controlled and manipulated. Maybe it is they who need to be reconciled.
Ultimately, individual versus institutional charges of sin in the form of oppression, slander, and bias lie at the heart of the divide between true biblical justice and a radical form of liberation theology. Charges of institutional racism are agenda-driven manipulation and upheaval of the church and its primary mission. It is the same with conferences celebrating gay celibacy under the guise of orthodox Christianity. These movements are political distractions of the activist and agitator, designed to sow disharmony and confusion in the church.